STORY OF THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR 395
to start one. The net result will be that the leftists will constitute a healthy influence for preserving the democratic pattern and machinery against any tendency toward one-party totalitarian rule.
What is far more important, the leftists will become a power exerted on behalf of the common people, the peasant and labour, and compel the Kuomintang to emphasize rural reconstruction, actually the crying need of China. They will also, through the war, have given the peasants the experience, training and technique of self-government, and also to a certain extent arm the peasants and teach them military defence and reliance upon themselves. An internal transformation of the village organization will have taken place, and the last word in public government as public service, as contrasted with traditional Chinese officialdom, will have been taught them. The political training of the country people in the guerrilla areas will reach a level unknown before.
All this brings us to the paradox that the Chinese Communists will become the bedrock of Chinese democracy. This democracy that we are going to see evolving in the Chinese Republic will be as different from the American democracy, as the American democracy is different from 'the democracy of England or France. The Chinese have a way of adjusting and moulding their institutions to suit their temperament and ways of thinking One cannot predict beforehand the exact form popular representation will take, and what the power of different government and representative institutions actually will be. To judge the progress of Chinese democracy by the standard of any one western pattern would be unfair and superficial. The most perfect outward conformity with an established democratic pattern cannot prevent a democracy from degenerating in fact into a plutocracy. That is why even the American Constitution must go back to the Declaration of Independence and its fundamental faith ip the equality of mankind.
For we must distinguish between democracy as a method and democracy as an end in itself, between the machinery and the spirit of democracy. In China, the western democratic machinery will be grafted upon the old spirit of democracy that